When you talk about the 80s in Italy, whether you are talking about the horrendous province or the cities (quite horrendous, but at least you were covered by a certain anonymity), silence falls in Italy.
Everyone says that the eighties were bad, that the 80s are to be forgotten, but in the end, when you go to the "intellectuals" no one can explain why. Or rather: nobody wants to explain why.
The 80s are my teenage years, so I was there and I remember. At the time I did not understand many things, I could not put them in order, then over time, and with more meters of comparison, everything is clearer to me. But the world of intellectuals did not want to accept what happened.
For the "political" intellectuals, seated in their armchairs by the social and political pressure of the left parties, (less the Christian Democrats) to speak of that period is embarrassing.
Because in all the 70s, the primacy was of political ideologies. When, with the arrival of the early '80s, young people stop being interested in it (and then divide the identity subgroups), the intellectuals try to see us better, and after looking they say that it is "nothingness" or "the void of values ", or" the end of ideals ".
This happens because being intellectuals put in their place by the parties, they CANNOT tell the truth: that another ideology had taken the place of theirs in the minds of young people.
It wasn't even mentioned, and if any intellectuals even mentioned it in passing, he made sure not to explain what the hell that word meant. Because if someone had explained that hedonism is a philosophy in which the concept of "good" coincides with that of "pleasure and fun", everyone would have recognized that hedonism had supplanted all other -isms.
Instead, they preferred (and still prefer) to present a world in which young people were "sunk in nothing", "lost", "confused", "devoid of ideals". But the ideals did exist: the ideal was fun, that is a form of pleasure that comes from doing things together.
Let me be clear, the fossils of the past still existed. There were still the punks with their determination to split with nihilism and politics (by now they were all orbiting social centers), or as we used to say "people who don't fuck today because there are Contras in Nicaragua".
So yes, often the children of the fanatics of some party continued to do politics, or they slipped into imaginative formations like the red skins, which then all became black, but in general, they were people who had little fun.
And this was the watershed of that period: those who were "in step with the times" enjoyed themselves. Those who were serious and did not enjoy themselves were left behind.
"Fun" was declined in a different way: for panozzi (or paninari) it was about showing off expensive clothes, enduro motorcycles and beautiful girls, and partying as much as possible, while for metalheads it was showing off clothes like metalheads, extreme and beautiful music girls, and drink as much beer as possible.
Ultimately, the watershed was the fun, in any way that declined it. Whichever "new" band he was part of (excluding the old punks, and the remnants of the '70s), the aim was to have fun.
Obviously we teenagers didn't understand it was an ideology, and at 14 I wouldn't blame myself; at most I wonder why intellectuals who have the arrogance of those who have studied Greek philosophers have not recognized hedonism as a prevailing ideology.
And the break was much more than cultural, it was also political: because let's face it, at the party of unity you only had fun if you were old . In the world of politics you had fun … nothing. It was all too damn serious. In the busy social centers, fun never entered, and if it did, it disintegrated into the atmosphere.
The point was simple: since the early 1980s, teens had decided to have fun. For the adults, everything was damn serious, and having fun tasted like mockery of their ideals.
Going to have fun at a Duran Duran concert (if we really want to get out of metal) while they were bored with Inti Illimani was perceived (by them) as a resounding "hey, losers !!!".
And it was.
Those who had taken the metal road (and other dangerous roads for the Italian province) knew well that they were part of a category that was double ostracized: if for us those in the social centers were a pile of losers who had not enjoyed themselves since the Triassic, we could not even enter, in church or in Catholic associations, while the panozzi could in their free time (for example, in the boy scouts of AGESCI).
But the point is, we didn't give a damn, because our problem was "how are we having fun tonight?". I remember a very metalhead friend who once, dragged by a classmate, ended up in an afternoon with those of the FGCI. When we asked her "how was it?", The answer was "boring like in school, but at least in school you laugh sometimes. There is only one who explains.".
Even those of the social centers tried to attract us: we were a group of kids who gathered in front of an electronics / video games / appliances shop, they offered us "asylum" several times, in a more or less veiled way.
What was the problem? For us fourteen-sixteen year olds there were three types of parties:
- music, drinking, eating, making out / oral sex: great party.
- music, drinking, eating, meeting new possible partners (for making out / oral sex). interesting party.
- music, drink, just eat: "normal" party.
- shit music, little drink, little eat, and that's it: shit party.
(after sixteen you can replace oral sex with full intercourse).
So imagine what we thought of the occupied "Resistenza" social center in Ferrara. A pile of losers with serious hygienic problems, mostly heroin addicts, who listened to music that we called "pear" (and Hell Awaits came out !!), and who were all the time talking about things like "capitalism" , "the working class", and other imaginary animals. Females… well, forget it. And if I tell you that there was nothing to baccaglia even to be bisexual and adolescents in hormonal crisis, it means that the landscape was definitely fetid. Literally, fetid. Because hygiene for them was a product of the "rationalization of the body".
Besides, you certainly couldn't play what you wanted if you were having a party there. To be clear, we listened to things like this:
And in those places there were feminists. Of those acidic, toxic, bigoted, post-Catholic, of the '70s. Understand that you couldn't do ANYTHING fun in a community center, other than getting smashed with heroin. Or listen to Comrade Balboni explaining to you the rava et la fava of American crimes in lower Sarkazzistan. And way of collecting to help the Sarkazzi comrades.
That said, the 80s would have been beautiful if the Italian provincial didn't wake up every morning wondering "and now how do I ruin the day for someone who could have fun instead?".
I write this for those who still continue to tarnish the spirit of the 80s:
the spirit was the only positive thing of those years. The problem was the bigots, both from the center, from the right, and from the left. You.
Someone will say: but the 90s were like that too. No, you are wrong.
After a few years of living in this way, when we were now of age and society could no longer hold us back easily, one thing happened: that fun became a status symbol.
And from that moment everything changed, that is, hedonism ended:
- the company did everything to make sure that only the rich could have fun : it was a status symbol. So it was only for the rich. That the poor enjoyed themselves was seen as heresy. Anything that wasn't "exclusive" was criminalized. There was talk of privee, of lounges, of exclusive seats.
- fun became mandatory. The clubs were full of people who had to have fun to show they were rich, it was a status symbol, but they weren't having fun at all, and to be honest they didn't even want to be there.
- To have fun by force, because in the end if you don't have fun the party fails, rivers of cocaine arrive . Fun becomes compulsive, but with cocaine it also becomes paranoid, violent, competitive and degrading.
It is the period in which you go to a transgressive disco on the Riviera, you are faced with a kind of drag queen of the time, but when you talk to him you discover that he is an Apulian bricklayer, ignorant as a goat, who speaks Italian like foreign language, and as if that weren't enough…. hates fags !! For him, wearing fishnet stockings is just a comfortable camouflage to enter a place that is a status symbol. And he gets pissed if after nosing on one, he finds out it's one.
The 90's hedonism dismantled it, transforming it into a kind of prison where everything that is not forbidden becomes compulsory.
People like us, who grew up in the 80s, immediately understand that there is no transgression if you are obliged to do so : to transgress means to break obligations and prohibitions. The environment has become toxic.
Of all those who knew the hedonism of the 1980s, all found alternative ways to have fun without ending up in a cocaine-addict sewer made up of bigots who are there to show off.
The others returned to the arms of the old losers, like the punks, the social centers, the ravers, and other new losers, all full of "problems and serious problems". And don't forget the offer for Sarkazzi companions.
The music became all fake and compulsory, exactly as fun was now: the case of Nirvana made me laugh a lot.
Let's be clear, Kurt Cobain was just a loser, who got killed because he couldn't have fun and have a good time even having money, success and someone like Courtney Love next to him.
For us "eighty", it was the equivalent of this:
But who the fuck cares about someone who kills himself because "cia'i brobblemi", when it was obvious that he had absolutely NO problem? He had it all. From the point of view of hedonism, he had it all. And he made up his mind that he had problems. And then he believed it and killed himself for all the problems (or died of vaffanculite in life) and the paranoia he had.
You know that guy you invite that time you want to get drunk with friends and gets paranoid as soon as he drinks? Here is Kurt Cobain. The one you will never invite again for a hangover with friends.
But we are in 1994. The year in which you have to pretend to have fun. The year you leave the house to go to a club you hate, with people who disgust you, doing things you don't enjoy, and taking drugs so you can better pretend to have fun, all that paranoia makes sense. Because we're in the cocaine world to "have fun", and cocaine brings paranoia.
And then everything is paranoia. MTV, a television that looks like a musical TV all over the world, in Italy takes a serious look, becomes politicized that in comparison the Inti Illimani seem Cicciolina, and they broadcast music that to define "a selection of the worst ingrown nails of the period" is optimistic. .
Boredom. Emotional emptiness. Lack of appetite. Fake fun. Dead Ocarazza. Wooden pussies. White niggers. White niggers. Bad breath and unmade beard in the mirror. All music that falls into this category ends up on MTV. To the point that in one of the most fun cities in the country, a melancholy phenomenon called Luca Carboni, AKA: "Hello, it's God's sad hemorrhoids" is born.
But for MTV it's ideal. Paranoia, sadness, invented problems, everything is broth for an audience looking for an excuse to get rid of the compulsive and compulsive fun of the 90s. In short, in order not to be forced to have fun, they were forced to feel sad.
A special mention goes to the occupied social centers, which embraced Hip-Hop, the only music worse than the Inti Illimani. In their defense it must be said that until recently at Isola nel Cantiere (Bologna) they covered the EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN for pneumatic hammer and toilet brush. But in short, come on: Hip Hop. And then they turned to rap. (This made me reevaluate a lot the heroin overdoses in the toilets of the social centers, of the 80s. Always better than Hip Hop).
In short, no: the 90s were a period of those who pretended to diversify and transgress. And in order to escape, they invented them all.
- intellectualization. The new metalheads, instead of dealing with sex and beer or motors, dealt with things like "true metal", "if there is enough classic in metal music", and other nerd problems.
- intellectualization, II: the problems. The mantra of the '70s, the young man with problems, is back in vogue and MTV shoots Carboni, Cobain, and anyone else who remembers the ingrown toenail.
- intellectualization, III: non-metallic people spent their time being sad for reasons that not even Kafka could have imagined. If Kafka imagined waking up like a cockroach, they imagined waking up like Marilyn Manson dandruff.
- arthouse music: people who confused the pentagram with the pentacle and had never even played their own glans give themselves to "indie" music, talking for hours about chords without having any idea what a chord is, and discussing "style" musical "without understanding an absolute fucking thing about what he was saying.
- the lounges. In order to escape the compulsory fake fun, they invented places where you could get bored with soft music, non-appetizing male homeopathic drinks and inlaid mahogany pussy. They were dying of boredom, but at least they weren't dying of a cocaine overdose.
and all not to understand that the only way to escape the fake fun is to have fun for real. Anyone comparing the 1980s to the 1990s missed the point: hedonism.
The 80s, on the other hand, had "the right spirit": they were a moment of extreme musical creativity (electronics arrived and it was cheap) and the spirit was the right one. Whoever speaks ill of it from an ideal or musical point of view is stupid, ignorant or both.
It was the country that was wrong: the country where what is not forbidden is obligatory could not tolerate someone having fun, breaking the rules. A country where "I am happy" is the most subversive phrase, a country where "I have enjoyed" requires you to pay a price in toil or suffering, could not tolerate hedonism. It was a country at war against happiness. ', imagine how they saw the fun.
And this country turned fun into an obligation, to the point that it became damnation.
Today nothing remains of all this; Although it may seem like a period of hedonism, in reality this is just a period of extreme narcissism. Not only are you not looking for fun, but you are not even trying to pretend to have fun: all you are looking for is to look in the mirror, to look beautiful, and to show the mirror to others using social media. (it is no coincidence that selfies are taken in the mirror: even Narciso would have photographed his reflection).
But, here, the point is simple: from the 1980s you can condemn everything, and I agree. The country sucked because people sucked.
But if there is one thing that in the 80s were the right ones, well, it was the values and ideals. Too beautiful compared to the lugubrious, serious and monstrous -isms of politicians and bigots.
We were right: in life you have to have fun.
But the others had seen us: "if they have fun, clearly we are idiots".
And it's true. You were balls. And you still are. And don't tell me you had no idea what hedonism was, because even the less committed pop singers yelled it in your face:
But now tell me, you who were teenagers in the 90s: exhaust the shit of discussions about Kurt Cobain's non-existent problems, sand your scrotum with Luca Carboni's zanarino sadness (*), and all the shit that MTV has downloaded you in the end, what adolescence shit did he give you?
What adolescent shit did you spend inventing problems you did NOT have, giving up the fun (however fake) in exchange for a (equally fake) depth where you only found a sewer pipe?
And above all, of all these absurd problems that you have made to look like intelligent or complex people, HOW MANY DID YOU SOLVE?
Without committing suicide, I mean.
(*) zanarini are the Bolognese equivalent of pariolini.